Plenty of us remember the ill-fated boat show that was due to grace the old waterfront in Liverpool back in 2011 before fading into recession-assisted obscurity and leaving a great many people disappointed and/or out of pocket. Well happily, that event has now been consigned to the history books and the new Liverpool-based ‘Northern Boat Show’ is back for its second year in 2016.
The new three-day event, from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th June 2016, will be returning as part of the established Mersey River Festival, which claims to attract around 200,000 extra visitors to the heart of this famous old maritime city. It will host a variety of sail and powerboats in Albert Dock, as well as marine-related land exhibits at neighbouring Salthouse Dock. The land-based show will be free to enter but those keen to see the boats up close will need to buy ‘Pontoon Tickets’ for around £5 each.
It seems there will be some big players in attendance too – not least, Four Winns, Bavaria, Chaparral, Parker, Rodman, Robalo, Beneteau, Jeanneau, MasterCraft and Sealine. From those, the standout highlights at this stage appear to be the Bavaria 300 Sport (preview), Sealine’s excellent C330 (review), Bayliner's compact 642 cuddy (review) and Beneteau's perennially capable Barracuda 7.
With less than three months to go until the gates open, the organisers are predicting around 150 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors. That’s by no means the major international event that has been talked about in relation to the north of England - and like so many modern boat shows, it appears to need the security of an alliance with a larger ‘mother’ event. But if it can stick around long enough to establish a regular fan base, its position at the heart of one of the UK’s most entertaining cities could see it become a key part of the marine calendar.
For more great events, see: Boating events: 12 of the best for 2016.